this is "nightline." >> tonight, miracle rescue. in thailand, all 12 boys and the coach of the wild boar soccer team saved from the cave moments before a near disaster. with the help of master divers from around the world. >> imagine going through that with 60, 70 pounds of gear. >> what they gave the boys to help keep them calm along the treacherous trail. after weeks underground, some boys fighting serious infections as families finally begin to reunite. plus -- ♪ i just need somebody to love >> beauty and the biebs. he's needed somebody to love since he was just a teen. now finding his forever in hailey baldwin, declaring his
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good evening. thanks for joining us. tonight the triumph in thailand. the young soccer team and their coach now free from that cave after more than two weeks trapped underground. the harrowing rescue coming moments before a near disaster. and now the long-awaited family reunions beginning. here's abc's matt gutman. >> reporter: outside the dank recesses of this thai cave, it's the sound of triumph. after 18 harrowing days, the wild boars soccer team, 12 boys and their coach, weakened but free. a monumental task that so many volunteered for. one ex-thai navy s.e.a.l. even giving his life for it. and for some here, perhaps this miraculous rescue from the cave that was once the boys' captor, all kismet.
according to thai legend, the lush, beautiful mountain in the province is inhabited by the spirit of a mythical princess. in fact, locals say if you look closely, you can see the figure of the sleeping princess. >> the idea is if she's happy, she will smile favorably and help a good outcome. >> reporter: here on the outskirts of the fabled mountain, under the watchful eye of this majestic buddhist statue, sits the soccer team's home district of masai. one of the local youth teams that plays on this slightly ragged soccer field is dubbed the moopak, thai for "wild boar." the team is composed of kids from schools around the district ranging from 11 to 16. day one, saturday, june 23rd. this video was taken that fateful morning of the wild boars practicing on the field.
posted on facebook by their 25-year-old assistant coach. known as coach aik. the boys used to practice on this soccer field a couple of times a week. and they left from here to go on that ill-fated trip to that cave. but not before first stocking up at this store. this is actual video taken that day of the 12 boys and coach aik making the roughly 45-minute bike trek up this road toward their destination. two members of the wild boars who did not make the trip told us that team excursions into the caves were nothing unusual. >> i've gone inside four times. it takes about five or six hours. >> was it scary at all? when you went into the caves? >> no. because when we visit the cave, we all go together and bring plenty of flashlights and food. >> reporter: at about 1:00 p.m., the team arrives at the entrance
of the cave, chaining their bikes to a rail, leaving behind their backpacks and soccer cleats before going inside. later that day the boys were supposed to gather at the home of teammate pirpat to celebrate his 16th birthday. a cake is waiting for the occasion. but the team never arrives. it is the beginning of the rainy season, and sure enough, while they're in the cave, outside it begins to rain. and rain hard. >> translator: at the time i felt nervous and worried. because the parents told me that the kids went missing and they couldn't reach them. >> reporter: anxiety turns to alarm when the coach finally learns of the team's trip to the cave. he rushes to the site. >> translator: i was stunned and shocked because i know that cave. if the water starts rising, the entrance is going to get completely blocked off. >> reporter: the soccer team is trapped. friends and family gather at the mouth of the cave now blocked by torrents of floodwater.
they call out to the boys. soon the families are joined by hundreds of rescue workers, more than 1,000 of the small nation's military deploying in the rescue effort. thailand is not alone. halfway across the world, a renowned british cave rescue organization gets a call for help and responds immediately. the british team includes two of the best cave divers in the world, john velanthin, rick stanton. >> they started out as cavers, that was their sport. it enables them to go through into places other people can't get. >> reporter: my colleague james longman among the first foreign journalists to witness the massive rescue mission. >> there were rescuers and volunteers everywhere. if you look up there,oxygen tan stacked outside the entrance to the cave. those are for the divers. >> reporter: by midweek nearly 50 pumps brought in, at this point working furiously to drain the cave.
in one cavern ceilings soar like a buddhist temple, in the next, nothing more than a crawl space. somewhere in this six-mile labyrinth, the missing teens. on day nine an electrifying discovery. those british divers surface deep inside the mountain -- >> how many of you? 13? brilliant. >> reporter: all 12 long-lost boys and their coach gather together, exhausted, hungry, but alive. >> many people are coming. >> reporter: the families outside the cave are overjoyed. now a new mission begins. getting them out before coming rains fill the already submerged cavern. the worlware surprisingly find them in relatively good health. >> my health is good. >> reporter: of the many options considered, the most viable one
was having the boys swim out with the divers. but as i found out when i visited a nearby cave, it's easier said than done. some of these passageways are so narrow, you guys have to scoot on your butt or crawl to get through. even among all the cave divers in the world, this is not the kind of task that would really be undertaken by the majority of them. >> reporter: making a complex situation even worse, many of these boys don't even know how to swim, much less scuba dive. only a select few divers have the expertise to conquer the inside of this cave. among them 38-year-old former thai navy s.e.a.l., saman gunan, who came out of retirement to help. just days earlier he posted this video online as he boarded his flight to join the rescue efforts. "may good luck be with us to bring the boys back home," he said.
but while laying oxygen tanks along the escape route, he became unconscious. found by his buddy diver, he could not be revived. his fellow s.e.a.l.s wrote, his determination and good intention will always be in the heart of all s.e.a.l. brothers. today you get some good rest, we will complete the mission for you. on day 15, with the threat of rain running high and oxygen in the cave running low, officials decide they can wait no longer. it's go time. >> translator: today is the day. we are 100% ready. >> reporter: ambulances are positioned near the cave, and helicopters are also ready to take the boys to the hospital. and the hospital itself is prepared for the worst. my colleague adrienne bankert was outside that hospital. >> these stretchers are lined out. security has told us these are for the first boys to be rescued
from that cave. >> reporter: 10:00 a.m. local time. the first group of 18 divers enter the cave, some head directly for the boys' location. >> there's no playbook for this, no protocol list for this. >> reporter: the riskiest part of the dive begins immediately. the trio dives down, looking for a small hole that will lead them away from the beach. buddy teams are used with the lead diver carrying an extra tank of air. a second diver assists and at times physically hauls the boy through the water. it takes hours for the teams to make the slow passage to safety, but at 5:40 p.m., success. as the first boy emerges from the cave. >> that is the first ambulance, the whole world has been waiting to see this. >> reporter: two hours later -- there is more good news. >> translator: the third and the fourth came out about 7:40 p.m. and 7:50. today was very successful. more than we expected. >> reporter: the next three days, the rescue divers go back
in. every day, more adept at maneuvering through those narrow passageways. the last four players and the coach brought out today. the last to come out, the coach. sources telling us it was a close call, saying that shortly after the coach was extracted from the cave, the main pump gave out. the cave filling back up with water. it's day 18. and the mood is jubilant outside the hospital. >> everyone had their cell phones out like we were at a concert. they were all celebrating the fact that the final ambulance had come through. >> reporter: it seems after days of being trapped inside the mountain, wild boars and their coach may be on the road to recovery. but the ordeal has taken its toll. >> we understand the coach actually is probably among the weakest. because he gave his food away. >> reporter: for now the kids can only dream about what they crave.
a traditional spicy treat of basil fried rice. we're learning for the first time tonight, the boys will be reunited with their families. you can bank on a round of hugs 18 days in the making. for "nightline," i'm matt gutman in masai, thailand. ♪ can we still be friends up next, justin bieber's getting married. but not to who you might think. can he and selena still be friends? this is a cell. so are all these. they work together, doing important stuff... like keeping your vital organs running and what not. the hitch? like you, your cells get hungry. feed them with centrum micronutrients. designed to nourish and revitalize you at the cellular level. restoring your awesome
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you know, for years justin bieber and selena gomez seemed to have built their careers on singing about each other's love lives. it might have come as a surprise to see justin declaring his love for, and intent to marry, another woman. 21-year-old hailey baldwin. now the beibs' bride to be. how did selena end up on the sidelines? for years justin bieber's fans thought selena gomez was the one. their relationship fueling their music for almost a decade. which is why his instagram posts yesterday left fans asking, what do you mean? ♪ what do you mean >> reporter: bieber announcing his engagement to model hailey baldwin after a whirlwind llerhe w gngwa awhile to say anything but word travels fast, listen, plain and simple, hailey, i am so in love with everything about you. the born-again pop star going on to say, god's timing really is
literally perfect, even quoting the bible, he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the lord. the 21-year-old baldwin, daughter of actor stephen baldwin, posting a message of her own on social media tweeting, i am so utterly grateful to god for giving me an incredible person to share my life with. >> she comes from this famous baldwin family, but she's also made a name for herself as a model. she's right up there with kendall and gigi and bella in this new generation that really harnessed the power of social media to get these huge contracts. >> reporter: their budding romance, like everything in bieber's world, tabloid fodder for weeks. >> we heard from sources that he really feels this the lighter energy with her. she makes him happy. >> reporter: tmz sparking headlines after first reporting the proposal happened over the weekend at a resort in the bahamas. >> justin bieber and hailey baldwin are engaged. >> that's just-engaged justin and hailey. >> reporter: their public infatuation has fans asking, how
is selena taking the news? the on again, off again couple recently back together after her kidney transplant, but ended things earlier this year. >> they had always been plagued by these issues. she had her problems, he had his problems, and together they just couldn't make it work. they couldn't get past it. ♪ >> reporter: at times their music and lyrics had fans feeling as though they were reading a diary, documenting the ups and downs of young love. tearfully performing "the heart wants what it wants" at the amas. tell us about the beibs and selena. they seem to be serenading each other over the years. >> well, i think what you have to understand is that crucial developments in justin bieber's career seem to have come after heartbreak. and they seem to have come after heartbreak involving selena gomez. in 2015, after justin and selena had gotten together and broken up and gotten together and
broken up and played ping pong with their hearts, along came these enormously successful, really great pop songs. >> reporter: like his multi-platinum hit "sorry." ♪ is it too late now to say sorry ♪ >> reporter: and her chart-topping tune "same old love." ♪ i'm so sick of that same old love ♪ >> selena and justin seemed to be having a public conversation about the kind of things most people talk about in private. this really did seem to be a direct kind of confessional songwriting. >> reporter: justin talked about his real-life inspirations on "the zach sang" show a couple of years ago. >> i'm finding myself and talking about stuff i'm really going through. i'm talking about just really personal stuff. so it becomes more relatable. ♪ baby baby baby >> reporter: over the years we've watched justin grow up, from that babyfaced kid to a teen who didn't alwaysake th.
>> dabbled in drugs and alcohol, raced fast cars, he went a little too far into his own celebrity. >> reporter: the more mature bieber decided last year to take a break, reflect on his career, canceling his "purpose" tour, saying on instagram, i want my career to be sustainable but i also want my mind, heart, and soul to be sustainable so that i can be the man i want to be, the husband i eventually want to be. his decision to slow down may have been influenced by this man, the so-called pastor to the stars, karl lentz. my "nightline" coanchor byron pitts asked pastor karl about justin's decision to cancel his tour. >> he told me what he's going to do. he spoke on his own behalf about it better than i could. i like it when people make decisions for their soul first. career, money, platform, stature second. >> reporter: the hipster mega hit "chill song" has included the likes of kylie and kendall
jenner, selena gomez, and bieber's own fiancee hailey baldwin. >> he invested energy working on self improvement and seems like he's found joy in his relationship with hailey. >> reporter: baldwin has been a believer since she was a young girl, meeting him on the red carpet as a teenager. >> this isn't a fan marrying her teen idol. this is more like an aniston/pitt moment. these are two people who are both celebrities. this young woman is a model, she has a career of her own, she's a grownup now. >> reporter: and so is he. writing on instagram, you make me so much better and we complement each other so well, can't wait for the best season of life yet. it's enough to have you believing in happily ever after. up next, actress gal gadot with a wonderful surprise for one virginia children's hospital. thanks for the ride-along, captain! i've never been in one of these before,
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super sequel to surprise the inova children's hospital in virginia, bringing joy to the patients and the staff. one doctor tweeting, thank you for visiting us, you are a true wonder woman. the class act taking time out from saving the world on screen to do what she can in real life. that's superheroic. thanks for watching "nightline." and as always, we're online at our "nightline" facebook page. good night, america. just when you thought you were done painting... ...you discover paint bleed under your tape... not with frogtape! frogtape is the only painter's tape treated with patented paintblock technology. paintblock reacts with the water in latex paint to form a micro-barrier against paint bleed, giving you the sharpest lines possible. get professional results with frogtape... no messy lines, no paint bleed. for sharp lines every time, frog it!